June 13, 2006


Blair risks Arab anger by backing Israeli plan to impose new border (Richard Beeston, Diplomatic Editor, and Stephen Farrell in Gaza, 6/13/06, Times of London)

EHUD OLMERT, Israel’s new Prime Minister, was in jubilant mood last night after Tony Blair gave him tacit approval to move forward on the next stage of his controversial unilateral withdrawal plan.

“I feel very much encouraged. He wants what is good for us and the Palestinians,” the Israeli leader said after his talks at 10 Downing Street. The reason for his glowing assessment was Mr Blair’s unexpectedly positive remarks regarding Mr Olmert’s plan to “realign” Israel’s deployment in the West Bank.

After the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza last year, Mr Olmert wants to repeat the process in “90 per cent” of the West Bank. But the move is fraught with controversy. He intends Israel to hold on to several large Jewish settlement blocks and Arab East Jerusalem, which would be incorporated into Israel behind a security wall.

Mr Blair and Mr Olmert insisted that they would prefer a negotiated settlement with the Palestinian leadership.

How can folks still be surprised when Mr. Blair backs a member of the Axis of Good?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 13, 2006 7:42 AM

The Palestinians will neither accede nor accept.

The crux of the "conversation" is as follows:

Unilateral steps are totally illegitimate. Only a negotiated settlement is acceptable.

- OK, then, let's talk.

We will not negotiate with you. You are aware of our position.

- OK, then we'll just have to decide what steps to take.

Unilateral steps are totally illegitimate. Only a negotiated settlement is acceptable.

- Then let's talk about it.

Our position is that you return to the May 1967 borders, return Arab East Jerusalem and allow all Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their homes pre-1967 Israel. Either you agree to that or there's nothing to talk about.

- In other words, you wish us to dismantle our state. Sorry, that's not acceptable. We'll have to work out something else. Let's talk about it.

We have made our position clear.

- Then we'll have to make our own decisions.

Unilateral steps are totally illegitimate. Only a negotiated settlement is acceptable.

- Um, OK, then let's discuss this and try to bridge the gaps.

We reserve the right to resist Israeli oppression and occupation until an agreement is reached.

- We will not negotiate under fire. If you persist in this war against us, will draw our own conclusions.


Posted by: Barry Meislin at June 13, 2006 8:04 AM

I note that Hamas has called off its truce after falsely claiming that some Palestinians were killed by Israeli shelling. So much for being moderated by the demands of governing.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 13, 2006 11:28 AM


And done what?

Posted by: oj at June 13, 2006 2:21 PM

No, they haven't.

Posted by: oj at June 15, 2006 1:14 PM

So reports of such things, like the one I linked to, are anti-Hamas lies?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 15, 2006 3:28 PM
"This is only the start and rocket firings will continue," a spokesman for Hamas's Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades said.
Is the Australian Broadcast Company badly misquoting a Hamas spokesman here?

P.S. Sorry for the double post, but you allow only one link per comment.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 15, 2006 3:32 PM

"The attacks caused no casualties, and the Israeli army said nearly all of them appeared to land inside Gaza."

They attacked Palestine in desultory fashion and yammered a bit.

Posted by: oj at June 15, 2006 3:42 PM